Boing Boing 

Understanding American football helps us understand America

football

Radiolab can always be depended on for an interesting take on questions you never even knew you had. Their story on American Football is no exception.

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Sword and Laser podcast: How Tyrion could die

In this new episode of Sword and Laser podcast, we have a whole Wheel of Time pilot mystery to solve, and then on top of it, George RR Martin says any character in the Game of Thrones series could be killed even if they’re safe in the book. WHAT?! Hands off the Imp!

Also, we explore the mystery of why Tom didn’t like Annihilation more, even though he wanted to.

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

Why we love Kumail Nanjiani's “The X-Files Files” podcast

This podcast is entertaining and awesome, but the episode featuring Darin Morgan is especially so. Don't miss, X-Files fans. xfiles

Kumail Nanjiani's The X-Files Files podcast is ubiquitously entertaining and awesome, but the episode featuring screenwriter Darin Morgan is especially so.

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Brian McClellan and his latest flintlock fantasy novel, The Autumn Republic

When you rule the world of "powder mages" you can do what you want. Brian McClellan wields his powder for good. In addition to delivering us the complete Powder Mage trilogy with the third book The Autumn Republic, Brian is going to bring us a second trilogy in the same universe, all while growing his own spaghetti sauce and keeping bees. Impressive. Most impressive.

The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. For show notes and previous episodes, head here. You can also help support us on Patreon!

The science behind Brian Williams' misremembering

The last 40 years of memory research strongly suggests the kind of misremembering Williams claims to have suffered is easy to reproduce in our own lives. Read the rest

Crossing Africa for Love

When Ewart Grogan was denied permission to marry his sweetheart, he set out to walk the length of Africa to prove himself worthy of her.

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Why we like fried chicken and vinyl

This week Xeni, Jason, and Mark talk about the gadget approach to making good fried chicken and an affordable, retro-inspired solution to experiencing vinyl. Read the rest

Jeff VanderMeer's novel Annihilation is not for everyone

Veronica REALLY wanted to make the title of this episode "Tom Merritt is a sexist pig." But Tom doesn't need that kind of grief. And besides he has promised to read even more female SciFi/Fantasy authors going forward. But if you want to hear Veronica giggle at the notion -- as well as defend our book pick, Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and wax eloquent about the need for varied perspectives in literature -- then fire up this episode!

Full show notes here!
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LISTEN: Ballooning to the North Pole

In 1897, Swedish engineer S.A. Andrée made the world's only attempt to balloon to the North Pole.

Andree balloon

In 1897, Swedish engineer S.A. Andrée made the world's only attempt to balloon to the North Pole.

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Military Fantasy and Myke Cole

Sword and Laser welcomes back the amazing Myke Cole to talk about how he finds time to write great books, fight crime, and decorate his apartment with even more books. We also pressure him into a startling revelation about unicorns. And of course, talk to him about his new book, Gemini Cell: A Shadow Ops Novel, which is out now!

Full show notes here!
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Avatars, rubber hands, virtual reality, and racism

Can changing your body, even just for a few minutes, change your mind? Can a psychological body transfer melt away your long-held opinions and unconscious prejudices? Maybe so.Read the rest

LISTEN: Ben Franklin's Guide to Living

2015-01-25-podcast-episode-43-ben-franklins-self-improvement-plan-1

In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll explore Benjamin Franklin's self-improvement plan and find out which vices gave him the most trouble.

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This week's best gadgets

This week Mark and Jason compare tea makers and Xeni talks about her Hario Japanese coffee products. Read the rest

Ready Player Two? A sci-fi sequel is in the works.

Join Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont for the Sword and Laser Podcast.

We wrap up The Sparrow. We loved it and it made us sad. We're also blown away at the quality of books being made into TV shows. Well, only a pilot and a trailer but so far so good. But should you risk reading a book and seeing a movie or TV show too? Maybe not! Plus, we get a hint at a sequel to Ready Player One!

Full show notes here!
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Gweek audio experience: How to 3D print your family

Our guest this week is Maggie Tokuda Hall. She writes books for children and stories for adults. Read the rest

Here are Gizmodo and Engadget founder Peter Rojas' favorite tools

Peter Rojas is the founder Engadget, gdgt and Gizmodo. He currently co-hosts MVP, a podcast about new tech products, alongside Ryan Block (previously interviewed on the Cool Tools Show). Peter focused his picks for this episode on personal impact, his philosophy being that truly worthy tools not only change your life, but they also change the way you think about the world.

See Peter's picks and show notes.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show podcast.

Listen to all Cool Tools Show episodes here.

LISTEN: The Balmis Expedition: Using Orphans to Combat Smallpox

The Balmis Expedition

In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell how Spanish authorities found an ingenious way to use orphans to bring the smallpox vaccine to the American colonies in 1803. The Balmis Expedition overcame the problems of transporting a fragile vaccine over a long voyage and is credited with saving at least 100,000 lives in the New World.

We'll also get some listener updates to the Lady Be Good story and puzzle over why a man would find it more convenient to drive two cars than one.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Show notes

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The ceiling that birthed a naked man

What happened when a naked man literally appeared out of thin air inside a couple’s apartment while they were getting ready for work?Read the rest

Don't Fear The Roomba? An Interview with Daniel H. Wilson

Author and robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson chats with us about his new story/app called Mayday: Deep Space about a person trapped on a ship full of monsters. Only you can help him survive! But of course we have to ask Daniel when the robots will rise up and kill us all.

Show notes here!
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